Identity Theft “When Bad Things Happen To Your Good Name” El Camino Community College Police Department Sgt. Kirk Johnston Josh Armstrong
Identity Theft Defined When someone uses your name, social security number or other personal information to commit fraud or engage in other unlawful activities.
Identity Theft During the course of a busy day, you may write a check, use a charge card, send out a payment in the mail, apply for credit, order merchandise via the phone or internet or a multitude of other things relating to items of identity. Chances are everything will go well, but there are those out there that will take advantage of the information you have supplied.
Identity Theft During the past decade a new variety of crime has emerged, Identity Theft. Every time you use your various forms of identification you share your personal information with others. Some recipients of this information may take advantage of it and use it in ways you did not approve. An example would be to use your information to open a credit card account in your name without your knowledge.
How ID Theft Occurs • They steal wallets and purses containing your ID and credit & bank cards. • They steal your mail, including your bank credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers, new checks, and tax information.
How ID Theft Occurs • They complete a “change of address form” to divert your mail. • They rummage through your trash, or the trash of business for personal data. • They find personal information in your home. • They use personal information that you share on the internet.
How ID Theft Occurs • They fraudulently obtain your credit report by posing as a landlord, employer or someone else who may have a legitimate need for the information • They scam you, often through email, by posing as legitimate companies or government agencies.
How ID Theft Occurs • They get your information from the workplace in a practice known as “business record theft” by stealing files out offices where you’re a customer, employee, patient or student; by bribing an employee who has access to your files or hacking into electronic files.
How Id Thieves Use Your Personal Information • They call your credit card issuer and, pretending to be you, ask to change the mailing address on your credit card account. • They open a new credit card account, using your name, date of birth and SSN. When the bill are not paid the delinquent account is reported on your credit report.
How Id Thieves Use Your Personal Information • They establish phone or wireless service in your name • The open a bank account in your name and write bad checks on that account. • The counterfeit checks or debit card, and drain your bank account. • They buy cars by taking out auto loans in your name.
How To Minimize Your Risk • Order a copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus. • Place passwords on your credit card, bank and phone accounts. • Secure personal information in your home. • Ask about information security procedures in your workplace.
How To Minimize Your RiskComputers • Update your virus protection software regularly. • Do not download files sent to you by strangers • Use a firewall • Use a secure internet browser • Try not to store financial information on your laptop • Before you dispose of your computer “Wipe” the drives • Look for website privacy policies before providing personal information
Victim? What To Do • Contact the fraud department of each of the three credit bureaus. • Contact the creditors of any account(s) that have been opened or tampered with. • File a report with the local police department or the police department where the theft took place. Always insist on a written police report and obtain a copy as soon as you can.
Tips on Filing a Police Report • Provide Documentation – As much as you can • Be persistent • Be a motivating force
Tips on Organizing Your Case • Follow up in writing with all contacts you’ve made on the phone or in person. • Keep copies of all correspondence • Write Down the name of anyone you talk to, what they said and the date. • Keep the original of supporting documentation • Setup a filing system for easy access to your paperwork • Keep old files even if the case has been “Closed”
What Next? • Stolen mail? – U.S. Postal Inspector – http://www.usps.gov/websites/depart/inspect • Credit Card accounts – contact and verify that no unauthorized activity has occurred. Advise them to be on the lookout for new account requests. • Bank accounts – close the account(s) immediately if they have been tampered with. Open new accounts with new PINs. This includes savings, checking and ATM cards, IRAs, etc.
Identity Theft • You can’t completely prevent ID theft from occurring. • You can reduce the chances of it happening to you by taking some precautionary steps. • Should you find that you have had your identity stolen,you can call the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Identity Hotline at 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338) for assistance.
For Additional Information • Contact the Federal Trade Commission at: • 1-877-IDTHEFT • www.consumer.gov/idtheft • The most recent edition of the ID Theft book is on-line. • Your local police department where you live (permanent address) • El Camino Police Department 310-660-3100www.elcamino.edu\police
Annual Credit Report Once a year you may obtain a free copy of your credit report so that you may inspect for accuracy or fraudulent activityCan be in writing or via the internetAll three major credit reporting agenciesEquifaxExperianTrans Union
Credit Bureaus • EQUIFAX – http://www.equifax.com/, • 1-800-685-1111 • P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241 • EXPERIAN – http://www.experian.com/, • 1-888-397-3742 • P.O. Box 2104, Allen, TX 75013 • TRANSUNION – http://www.transunion.com/ • 1-800-916-8800 • P.O. Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022
ID Theft Remember, ID Theft prevention begins with you. Don’t give out your information freely. Keep a close eye on your credit card bills. Don’t leave your wallet / purse unattended, even in your own room or office. Put it away out of sight. If you find that your identity has been used, report it to the local police, credit bureaus, and the creditor involved as soon as possible, and keep good records.
Shredder Giveaway • We would like to thank Ms. Lynnda Nelson and the bookstore staff for donating two high quality shredder units to be raffled off